The U.S. House of Representatives approved the Energy Consumers Relief Act of 2013, which is designed to put a congressional check on what the bill’s supporters say is an overreach on the part of federal agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency. The bill passed 232-181.
The bill, designated H.R. 1582, would require the EPA to submit economic impact information on proposed rules to Congress.
The bill, should it be approved by the Senate and signed into law by the president, would also compel the secretary of the Department of Energy (DOE) to conduct a review on whether regulations would have adverse effects on the economy.
Should a major energy regulation be found to have a significant negative impact on the economy following a mandatory audit, it could not move forward without a vote in Congress.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said the bill is needed to protect the coal industry and taxpayers from unelected bureaucrats.
“President Obama’s EPA rules and regulations cost small businesses and families hard earned money, adding up to billions of dollars every year,” said Cantor.
Opponents of the bill said it would strip the EPA of its duties to protect the health of Americans by applying regulations to protect clean air, water and soil.
The White House had no available comment on the bill. H.R. 1582 is now under consideration by the U.S. Senate.